Authority hots up on its winter action with gritters

Coun Eric Bell with the two new gritters at Chorley Council

Coun Eric Bell with the two new gritters at Chorley Council

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Two gritters are set to help keep Chorley’s car parks clear of ice and snow after a new plan of action was announced for winter.

Chorley Council has agreed a new approach with Lancashire County Council, who are responsible for highways, after much of the town centre became impassable during last year’s big freeze.

Now, the new machines will help tackle icy conditions, making the authority better prepared should severe weather take hold.

Coun Eric Bell, who is responsible for the gritting service provided by Chorley Council, said: “The last two years we’ve had really severe weather over the winter and we’ve tried to learn a few lessons and see how we can do things better.

“It can be quite confusing for residents because Lancashire County Council, as the highway authority, is responsible for gritting and clearing the roads and footpaths, whereas Chorley Council has responsibility for treating the land it owns, such as the town centre car parks, cemeteries and recreation grounds.

“Both authorities have sat down to plan for severe wintry weather and we have agreed a new plan of action for the winter.

“It ultimately means we will be working together better to keep Chorley moving during any severe weather.”

The two new gritting machines will be kept at Chorley Council’s depot and are ready to be used should bad weather hit in the coming weeks.

“These new machines will attach onto the back of our vans so it means we can grit areas that we own such as the car parks and cemeteries much more easily,” Coun Bell added.

Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council has revealed it has more salt in stock that ever in recent years, with the depots now full to the brim with more than 30,000 tonnes ready to treat the roads.

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are confident we have done all we can to prepare to keep the county moving this winter, but we are asking everybody to do their bit too.

“As ever we have to focus our resources on treating the main routes, and we’re as ready as we can be to keep gritting for longer in the event of prolonged severe weather.”